The origin of the Afghan Hound is steeped in myths and legends. Some believe this is the dog that Noah chose to take into the ark. Ancient rock carvings in Afghanistan are said to depict Afghan-like dogs, but its development is most likely to have been from a similar type of dog to the Saluki or Greyhound, with the coat developing in response to the extreme climatic conditions in Afghanistan. Bred by the natives of Afghanistan for hunting and guarding, he still maintains his chase instincts today.
The long flowing coat and effortless graceful strides of the Afghan Hound always attract admiration. However, such glamour comes at a price and owners must be prepared for weekly baths to avoid the coat becoming matted and uncomfortable for the dog. A heavily coated male can take as long as five hours to bath and dry. It is essential that owners invest in a decent stand dryer and grooming table.
The Afghan Hound is a sighthound. He is exceptionally fast but also exceedingly slow to return when let off the lead, especially if his curiosity has been aroused. Youngsters can be extremely boisterous and will be destructive if left to their own devices in the home.
Often mistakenly thought to be untrainable, the Afghan Hound is in fact highly intelligent and simply needs persuading there is a point to what he is being asked to do. He can be aloof, a clown, a guard dog, a thief, a confidant, a tearaway or a loafer all within a matter of moments. He will be extremely loyal to his immediate family, but can be wary of strangers.
Afghan Hounds have a natural instinct for the most comfortable armchair in the house. Leave it for a moment and you will find you have lost your place! They are also thieves and although you might think they are asleep, they will quickly take the dinner from your plate even though you only turned your back for a second!
The Afghan Hound is a relatively healthy breed and with a good diet and plenty of exercise can live to 14 years of age or more.
However, as with all breeds there can be exceptions, such as cancer, laryngeal paralysis and bloat. Further information and support can be found through various Afghan Hound online discussion forums.
It should also be remembered that Afghan Hounds can be ‘escape artists’ and are therefore at risk from road traffic accidents. It is essential your garden has strong, high fencing which continues below ground level (or has paving right up to the fence) to prevent them digging themselves out.